Ahead of their Scruff Of The Neck show with Cassia on 19 August, and in anticipation of their forthcoming single we spoke to South London’s Little Grim to get to know them a little better…
Start off by introducing us to Little Grim. What do we need to know?
Jeremy came up with this new tagline recently which I think sums us up perfectly: ‘Music you can cry and dance to’.
We love reading, and splicing ideas from our own experiences in with characters from books helps give the songs a bit of a twist. One of our newer ‘love’ songs takes influence from Patrick Bateman, the character in American Psycho. Whilst not to be admired, I like his lack of sincerity despite his seemingly passionate demeanour to other people in the book. I thought it was an interesting quirk on a relationship I had at the time…
The rest is rhythm driven music which gets people dancing.
And your sound – it’s super nostalgic but sort of not like anything around at the moment. Where do your influences lie?
There’s a mixture of influences running through the band which really helps produce a fresh sound when we’re bouncing ideas off of one another. It’s good to understand where a song or an idea has come from, but until I have given it to the band to pull in all different directions, the real excitement is never knowing where it’s going to end up.
Whilst I’m hooked on the lyricism of artists such as Father John Misty, Villagers, and the National, who all have such distinctive ways of telling stories, we often find ourselves listening to a lot of R&B and hip-hop, which has a huge influence on our melodies and rhythm section.
There seems to be a lot of effort that goes into your videos – as though they’re short films/stories. Do the songs start off that way or do you write the songs as songs and build a video around them?
The songs have always started from raw voice notes recorded on my phone. It’s got to the point where I don’t mind strangers looking at me whilst I start singing on the train by myself… But once they’ve been recorded in the studio, what we really want to know is how they are interpreted by other people.
Frank and Oli from Do Not Entry, the independent film duo who made our last two videos, have a vision for capturing a story in songs and taking them in a completely new direction. Usually one that we had never thought of ourselves. When we played ‘Hoodie’ to them for the first time they described their vision of this man dancing aimlessly to the music with a desolate wasteland for a backdrop. Whilst on paper, the concept seemed (scarily) simple, they just have this way of bringing the characters to life and showing the raw emotion flowing through them.
You have a show coming up with Cassia on 19 August – what can be expected from a Little Grim show?
Lots of dancing and loud shirts.
And do you have any pre-show rituals?
Before most shows, we tend to find ourselves in Chris’ car listening to something serene like ‘Make It with You’ by Bread. It’s this moment of calm we take to get us all on the same level.
The gig is a Scruff Of The Neck one – how important do you think promotors like SOTN are for bands like yours?
Scruff of the Neck are amazing for bands like us. They give us the opportunity to take lots of risks with our shows and put so much faith in the small bands they get behind. I don’t know many other promoters like them, but I know they deserve the success they’re getting right now.
‘Hoodie’ came out in May, so what’s next this year for Little Grim?
On 1st September, we will be releasing our new single ‘Infectious’, along with a brand-new music video. It’s a new major step we’re taking with the bands’ sound. It’s also going to feature on an EP we have planned for later this year.
It’s festival season so let’s finish with this. What’s your ideal festival line up (to play alongside)?
Ooo good question… hm. Based on their amazing live shows, we’d have to say that Bad Sounds, Hiatus Kaiyote and La Femme would be on the list. I think playing alongside bands like Glass Animals, The Japanese House, and Wild Beasts would be pretty rad too.
Little Grim play Thousand Island, London with
Cassia, The Tin Pigeons and Sahara on 19 August. Tickets here.